Bencoonant, a town at the south-west extremity
of the island of Sumatra, about 120 m. S. E. of
Bencowse, a town of Algiers, in the province of
Constantine, 25 m. S. S. E. of Seteef.
Benda la, a town of Bornou, North Africa, about
200 m. E. of the capital.
Bender, or 'Teken, a fortified town ol European
Turkey, capital of Bessarabia. Here Charles the
XII. of Sweden resided, after his defeat at Pulto-
wa in 1709. Previous to 1770, when the Russians
took Bender by storm, and totally destroyed the
town, and afterwards abandoned it, it contained
about 30,000 inhabitants. In 1789 it was taken
again fty the Russians almost without a struggle,
but restored to the Turks in the following year;
again taken by the Russians, to whom with the
whole of Bessarabia and all that part of Moldavia
east of the Pruth, it was confirmed by treaty in
1812. It is seated on the west bank of the Dnies-
ter, about 100 m. E. by S. of Jassy, and 410 N. of
Constantinople. Present pop. about 10,000.
Bender Major, Begh, and Risher, three towns
on the north-east shore of the Persian gulf.
Bendorf, a town on the east bank of the Rhine,
about 5 m. N. of Coblentz.
Beneadi, a large town of Upper Egypt, on the
west side of the Nile, in lat. about 27. 30 N.
Benedetto, St. a town of Italy, in the Mantuan,
near the river Po, 15 m. S. S. E. of Mantua, distin-
guished before the revolution, for one of the rich-
est and finest convents in all Italy. There is also
another town of the same name in Piedmont, 12
m. E. of Bena.
Benedict, a town of Maryland, in Charles Coon
ty, situate on the Patuxent, 16 m. W. of Port To-
Benedict, St. a market town of Hungary, on
the west bank of the Gran, about 5 m. W. of
Beneschau, a town in the south-west part of
Silesia, on the frontier of theprincipality of Trop-
pau. Alsd the name of four small towns in Bo-
Bensomf, a town of Egypt, noted for its hemp
and flax ; seated on the Nile, 50 m. S. of Cairo.
Benevente, a town of France, in the department
of Creuse, 10 m. N. N. W. of Borganeuf.
Benevento, a city of Naples, and an archbishops
see, capital of Principato Ulteriore, and of a small
duchy of its name, lately belonging to the pope.
Benevento has suffered greatly by earthquakes,
particularly in 1688, when the archbishop was dug
out of the ruins alive. Except Rome, no city in
Italy can boast of so many ruins of ancient sculp-
ture as are to be found in this place. It is seated
near the confluence of the Sabato and Caloro,
35 m. N. E. of Naples. Long. 14. 47. E. lat. 41.
8. N. Pop. about 14,000.
Benfddcn. a town of France, in the department
of Lower Rhine, on the river 111, 12 m. S. S. W.
Bengal, a maritime province forming the north-
east extremity of the great promontory of Hin-
doostan, lying between the lat. of 22. and 26. 30.
N. and the 36th and 92nd deg. of E. long. It is
bounded on the north-east and north by Meckley,
Assam, and Boet&a, countries at present but little
known ; north-weai by Bahar ; south by Orissa;
and south-east by die oeean or bay of Bengal, and
contains an area of upwards of 100,000 sq. miles.
The river Ganges intersects the province from
north-west to south-east, dividing into numerous
channels before it falls into the sea, between the
88th and 91st deg. of long. The Burrampooter
enters the province from Assam, at the north-east
extremity, and unites with the most northern,
which is the main branch of the Ganges at its
confluence with the sea; whilst the Dummoc-da
waters the south side of the province, falling into
the Hoogly, or southern branch of the Ganges,
below Calcutta: these rivers, with their numer-
ous tributary streams, afford a facility of commu
nication by water to almost every town in the
province, and by their periodical overflowings add
fertility to the luxuriant and' exhaustless soil.
Bengal is altogether a level country, formed of
vast plains, bounded to the eye only by the
horizon, yielding, with but little aid of culture, all
the plants and fruits peculiar to a tropical climate.
Rice, cotton, silk, and saltpetre, are its indigenous
and staple productions, and sugar and indigo have
been recently cultivated with great success and to
a vast extent. Tobacco, hemp, and flax, are
also produced for internal consumption, but being
inferior in quality to the like productions of
America and Europe, they are not exported.
Gums and medicinal plants are various and abun-
dant. The great forests and marshy districts are
peopled with elephants. These gigantic animals,
once formidable in the field of battle, are now em-
ployed only to drag cannon and carry amunifton,
to set heavy engines in motion, to carry on their
broad backs the purple tent where a nabob reposes
on his gilded cushions; or to hunt the tiger in the
thick jungle which overspreads the plains. The
tigers are numerous among the underwood of the
marshes. The rhinoceros lives m the mud and
water, and is especially common upon the islands
at the mouth of the Ganges. Buffaloes and horn-
ed cattle are numerous, and horses of various
kinds are common. Birds and domestic poultry
of all kinds are very abundant. Previous to the
commencement of the 13th century, Bengal was
inhabited by an unmixed and feeble race of Hin-
doos, who at that period yielded their authority
to a horde of Mahometan marauders from the con-
fines of Persia and Tartary. They established
their seat of empire at Dehli, and Bengal con-
tinued tributary for about 140 years, when it re-
gained, and preserved its independence for nearly
two centuries. It was invaded again by Shere
Shah, and afterwards by the emperor Akbar, who
again rendered it tributary to Dehli, to which it
continued subject until the year 1756, when the
whole province became subject to the authority
of the English East India Company, -who for half
a century previously had established settlements
on the banks of the Ganges, and progressively ex-
tended their influence. They have since divided
it into three districts for civil and judicial pur-j
poses: viz. Calcutta, Dacca, and Moorshedabad,[